News & Politics

LA County Gets Its Guns Again and Angry Voters Make Plans to Take the Sheriff's Away

Screenshot/YouTube

It’s no small thing when the top lawman for the nation’s most populated county appears to have no clue what the law is, what the U.S. Constitution says, or whom he serves.

As I’ve reported, Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva has bumbled and stumbled his way through the last ten days of the coronavirus pandemic, opening and closing gun stores. His vacillations have been embarrassing and damaging. 

Villanueva has freed prisoners from the county jail and ordered law enforcement not to prosecute crimes with a bail of $50,000 or less (stalking won’t necessarily get you tossed in jail). The social-justice sheriff has shown himself more than willing to leave the law-abiding without a way to protect themselves.

As people were seen lining up to buy guns, some for the first time, the sheriff sought to banish such “panic” buying during a pandemic. So he closed the gun shops.

“LA County Sheriff’s Dept. Enforcement efforts to close non-essential businesses have been suspended. CA Gov. Gavin Newsom to determine what qualifies as a non-essential business.”

He was overridden by the LA County Council, which said he had no right to close gun stores under Governor Newsom’s Emergency Declaration.

So the sheriff re-opened them.

Then Villanueva closed them again when the governor, who had not changed his Executive Order, said in response to a question at a coronavirus news conference that sheriffs could decide.

“Thank you Governor @GavinNewsom for confirming what we believed was the case, that the Sheriff has the authority to enforce his executive order and keep the public safe during this pandemic. #FlattenTheCurve, #COVID19”

Villanueva tried to make the governor’s line in a news conference sound like the state’s chief executive had changed his Executive Order, which he hadn’t. The county’s legal opinion was that the stores should remain open. Like a catcher framing an outside-the-strike-zone pitch for the umpire, Villanueva reframed Newsom’s answer as a new edict for the masses:

“In compliance with @CAgovernor’s Executive Order, Gun & ammunition stores are not considered essential businesses, and will cease to sell to the general public, there are some exceptions. Please see my full statement below: #COVID19 #SaferAtHome #flattenthecurve #LASD #SheriffV”

The NRA, Gun Owners of America, and the Gun Owners of California served Villanueva with lawsuits because of his inchoate moves. Appeals were made to the Trump administration to change and clarify its advisories on essential infrastructure to include life-saving guns. The Department of Homeland Security changed them over the weekend.

California follows the advisories. And now Villanueva has followed suit, even though neither the county nor the Governor had ever changed their written legal declarations allowing the stores to remain open.

“Please see my statement regarding clarification on essential businesses during the #Covid19 Crisis” This statement included, “based on this further input from the federal government, the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department will not order or recommend the order of businesses that sell or repair firearms or sell ammunition.”

In his statement, he warned gun stores that his deputies would be checking to make sure there was good sanitation inside. Gun store owners must be rolling their eyes by now.

Even the Los Angeles County Supervisors think so little of the sheriff that they removed him Tuesday from being the Director of Emergency Operations. He is not present at regular LA County COVID-19 news conferences and instead, holds his own where he criticizes the Supervisors for trying to remove him.

Reaction on social media was as predictable as throwing chum in a tank of piranha:

“About time. I will vote you out of office. YOU, based upon your “personal feelings” decided to deny law abiding citizens Constitutional rights. All while you release 1,700 convicted criminals. Frankly, you should resign”

One word, “Resign.”

This one Second Amendment supporter reminded the sheriff of what it says.

“Shall not be infringed.”

Twitter user “The Real McKeever” wondered where the sheriff had stored his brain:

“A sheriff who puts hundreds of criminals back on the streets but closes down gun shops has a serious problem with his priorities. And should probably be in a different line of work.”

A person going by the name “Big Fuzzy Daddy” actually looks more sane than the sheriff at this point:

“You are really starting to look ridiculous at this point.”

David Wohl had one word for the sheriff’s flip-flopping: “embarrassing.”

“Hopefully gun shops will reopen – again – after your never-ending harrassment and embarrassing flip-flopping. You however should turn your badge in and find a new career.”

https://twitter.com/DavidWohl/status/124493782481980620

The only answer to this question is yes, yes it is:

“Dude is it amateur hour down in LA? All other So Cal Sheriffs made the right decision the first time. Hats off to those LEO’s that support the 2A!”

A frequent thought by many Angelenos.

“Never thought I’d say this, but thank god for the Feds. Can’t believe we voted for you.”

This lady might be looking for Villanueva’s next role – as a defendant.

“I look forward to your life imprisonment for #18USC241”

The Department of Justice says that “Section 241 of Title 18 is the civil rights conspiracy statute. Section 241 makes it unlawful for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the Unites States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same). Unlike most conspiracy statutes, Section 241 does not require that one of the conspirators commit an overt act prior to the conspiracy becoming a crime.”

The sheriff has shown that his gut reaction is to coddle criminals and stick it to the law-abiding. In his flip-flopping, Villanueva has revealed a deep disdain for the rights of people to keep and bear arms. He doesn’t trust the people.

Sheriff’s don’t make law, they serve it. Nowhere is it written that a law enforcement officer can substitute feelings for the law.

People who live in Los Angeles know one guy whose gun they’d like to see taken away. His badge, too.